Three men who were found with thousands of pounds of stolen power tools taken in thefts across Fenland in their car have avoided a jail sentence.
Jason Mongan, Michael McDonagh and Patrick McDonagh, from Kettering, were stopped on the A14 with the tools worth about £7,400 on January 10 this year.
They appeared at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday, where they received suspended sentences after admitting handling stolen goods.
Judge Sean Enright said he was sceptical about the story the trio gave for having the property, and also ordered them to carry out unpaid work.
Peter Gair, prosecuting, said: “The tools were all stolen from workmen’s vans on the night of January 9.
“The thefts happened in March, where £4,500 of tools were taken from a plumber, in Huntingdon, where £2,380 of tools were taken from a heating engineer and in Whittlesey, where £500 of kit was taken from an electrician.
“All the victims also had windows smashed in their vans.
“The three men were found in a Laguna, driven by Mongan, on the A14 near Kettering at midnight.
“The defendants gave no comment interviews when they were arrested.”
The court heard how Mongan (21) whose address was given as the A43, Kettering, Michael McDonagh (25) of The Oval, Kettering, and Pat McDonagh (30) of Northampton Road, Kettering, all have previous convictions for dishonesty offences.
Nicola Devas, representing Patrick McDonagh, said he had no convictions since 2012, and was a sole carer for his two young children.
Jameela Jamroz, defending the other two men, said they both accepted responsibility for their crimes, and all three had pleaded guilty to handling at an early stage.
She said the men said they had agreed to buy the tools after a meeting earlier in the evening - although Judge Enright said he was sceptical of the claims.
Sentencing, Judge Enright said: “Your early pleas, coupled with the fact the property was recovered and your personal mitigation, means prison sentences can be suspended.
All three were given nine month prison sentences, suspended for two years.
Mongan and Michael McDonagh were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, while Patrick was given one years supervision, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Michael McDonagh was ordered to carry out 10 days of employment education sessions.